Vintage Painted Four-Door Cabinet from Tibet

This vintage Tibetan Cabinet is around 120 years old. The sides and top are not decorated, though the top still has some traces of a red/orange paint. At the top of the cabinet two wide doors give access to a shallow storage space that extends across the width. These doors have delicate cast iron lion head pulls. The two narrower doors at the bottom open onto the main storage compartment, which again extends across the width of the piece. The cabinet was made from pine and is decorated with paintings of symbols of Tibetan Buddhism. This type of furniture was made for monasteries and the decoration served the purpose of teaching and to aid with meditation. This cabinet overall emphasises the development of qualities associated with the heart. The coloured lotus flowers on the two top doors, for instance, are associated with different buddhas. The pink lotus stands for the Historical Buddha, the fully open red lotus symbolises the nature of the heart (love, compassion and passion), and the blue lotus, depicted partially open, relates to wisdom, knowledge and victory of the spirit over the senses. The four lower doors depict red lotuses, framed by white bindweed motifs. The colour white carries the symbolic meaning of turning ignorance and delusion into knowledge and wisdom The bamboo carvings that adorn the frame relate to virtuousness, and the geometric pattern above the bamboo is a T-wave, (the thunder of vajra), symbolising compassion, which is understood as an action, rather than just a feeling.

Dimensions: 96(w) x 45(d) x 42(h) cm

Materials: pine with iron door pulls

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Type: Furniture